Nov 28, 2017

The Undead: A Tale from the Night

I have already read Akay brothers “Jason Cage” and have some knowledge of how their storyline will be. But this short story The Undead: A Tale from the Night is entirely different. After reading couple of pages I had a doubt is this is from Stephen King!

the undead

Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.

– George Eliot

The above line is the first line of the book, the idea I grasp from the blurb and this line is entirely different after reaching the final page.

A first time father expecting a baby is the one line of the story. The story is told in first person narrative. The book has many gory moments as mentioned in the blurb we surely need guts to read. I have read this book 2 times, for the second time it really took me two days to sit and read it again.

This story is for the fans of mystery & thriller, fans especially those who like Stephen King will praise this book on the writing style.

Nov 23, 2017

Alexander the Great: A Life From Beginning to End (Kindle Edition)

Another wonderfully written concise book on History. The introduction part is very much captivating.


Alexander is the greatest conqueror of all time. He ruled a domain that encompassed the Aegean, Mediterranean, modern day Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Persia and India (small part).


Alexander’s mentor Aristotle

The author has given much information on Alexander and as well as about his father Philip of Macedon & Alexander's tutor Aristotle. The book has vivid description on the war tactics used by Alexander. A chapter is allotted how Alexander used myths, legends and psychology in conquering the enemies.

The author has mentioned Alexander’s oratory skills, his compassion towards his soldiers, enemies etc.

Quotes of Alexander from the book:

“We are free men, they are slaves… they will be fighting for pay… we, on the contrary, shall fight for Greece, and our hearts will be in it.” – Alexander to his troops on the eve of the Battle of Issus, as quoted by Arrian.

“An army of lions lead by a sheep is better than an army of sheep led by a lion.”

Nothing is impossible to him who will but try.

“The Strongest” – Alexander on his death bed when asked who he wished to name as his successor.

A very good book and I like to recommend this to history buffs like me. My rating is 5 stars.

Nov 17, 2017

Nostradamus: A Life From Beginning to End

“I will be seated at night in my secret study,
Alone, sitting upon a stool of brass;
A flame shall leap forth from the solitude,
Granting that which is not believed to be in vain.”

The book is concise and well written about the life of Michel de Nostredame, better known via the Latin form Nostradamus. He was born on December 14th 1503 in a small commune called Saint-Remy-de-Provence in the south of France. Nostradamus grandfather was a decisive force in his life. He studied medicine at the age of 14. Married to Henriette d’Encausse and had two children.

When the plague swept Europe, though Nostradamus was a physician he was not able to save his wife and children. After that he wandered over France. Later he settled and started his profession along with his study in occult.

In the year 1547, he settled in Salon-de-Provence, there he married a rich widow Anne Ponsarde, she give birth to six  children. Nostradamus moved away from his medical profession and took up occult science. He published almanac which became a hit and he become famous. Even the Queen of France Catherine de' Medici consulted him and later appointed him as Counsellor.

After publishing 11 almanacs Nostradamus wrote the famous Century  it had over 1200 quatrains, unfortunately only 946 of them remain today. At that time people like him are termed heretics and Inquisition prevailed. Nostradamus cleverly wrote the quatrains which would include not only the true languages of the old Masters— Latin and Greek— but also Italian and even a dialect from the Provence area of France which was unique to the region.

The author has written neutrally about Nostradamus prophecies. And he has made clear that we have to decide by our own wisdom.

A good book for reading from Hourly History.

Nov 12, 2017

Odessa Sea - Book Review

My 11th outing with Dirk Pitt adventures.

It is February 1917, Black Sea as Russian Imperial Navy ship Kerch is under attack in Odessa by Ottoman warships. The ship is overwhelmed soon and obliterated Kerch sinks. The story then jumps to April 1955, as Tupolev Tu-4 carrying deadly cargo crashes on the Black Sea killing all. Present time, now our hero Dirk Pitt receives a mysterious Mayday signal from Crimean Star. When Pitt and Al reaches the spot they find all the crew except one dead with a foul odor in the air. Trouble finds Pitt, entering the Crimean Star opens the Pandora box and nonstop adventure for us. 

There are many questions pops up while reading the novel such as what is the relation between Russian Tsar and British in World War I? Why Tech Billionaire and drone manufacturer Martin Hendriks finances a Bulgarian black market smuggler? Why Martin wants to start a war between US and Russia? all these are neatly answered by the author. The villains Mankedo and Martin Hendriks are more intelligent and calculative in their steps. Sometimes they outwit our hero Pitt. We can comprehend Clive's unique formula of intertwining four separate plots of the story and merging them in the final chapters without flaw. 

Inclusion of Dirk Pitt Jr. and Summer Pitt characters adds the needed pace to the story, we can feel Pitt Jr. showing of his father Dirk Pitt skills and humor. That's not all St. Julien Perlmutter aids Pitt's kids in finding the lost treasure which in turn help in Dirk Pitt's adventure. I find that Pitt Jr. and Summer have shared Pitt's action parts. 

I enjoyed the action scenes of Dirk Pitt, for example the technique used by Pitt for escaping from the closed tunnel, when the NUMA submersible was damaged by the villains the escape seems to be remote but the coolness of Dirk Pitt emerges once again, understanding the scientific fact of anoxic water and its importance in the destruction and getting hold the RDS-5 bomb in the climax, what more a Dirk Pitt fan needs. 

This novel is for Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt fans like me.

Nov 8, 2017

The Phantom - The Treasure Of The Skull Cave

The comic book I read is 70s reprint, the library book has missing cover art. I liked the story as it re-created the Phantom myth and beautiful one liners.

The story opens with the introduction of Cappy Swargo and Pirate Pete. Soon their adventure lead to one common place "JAIL". In their next cell Llongo tribesman Buba was imprisoned. Over hearing their talk about treasures and treasure hunt, Buba tells them about the legend of treasures of the skull cave. At first they did not believe later Buba's tells them that he was the fan bearer for his uncle, he accompanied him to the skull cave and was a witness. He further tells them that to reach the treasure they have to cross the jungle and enter the Deep Woods, evade the poison people and most importantly the Phantom. 

The next day on the way to the trail Cappy Swargo arranges his friends for the escapade. After their escape they meet his influential friend 'The General". He explains the treasure to the General who had dire need of funds for the revolution. The General finances for the expedition to the deep woods. They plan to gas the tribe & Phantom and loot the treasure.

A larger part of the team waits near the dead volcano as Cappy Swargo and Buba venture into the deep woods. After a week journey they find the skull cave, Cappy Swargo asks Buba to hide the poisonous gas bomb and wait for his signal. Cappy acts that he was lost in the jungle as the Bandar tribe takes him to Phantom. The Ghost who walks is very clever and he ascertains that Cappy is acting. Later that night Phantom gives Cappy a guided tour to his major treasure room.

Did Cappy Swargo and Buba accomplished the mission? What happened to The General in the end are all answered in the remaining pages of the book. 

A superb story line with cunning characters and enjoyable read. I finished the comic book within 30 minutes but took me 2 hours to write a review!

Phantom - The Shining City

In this adventure The Ghost who walks meets a seductress named Athena Siossi. She ask permission the Phantom to cross Bengali. Phantom allows her at the same time he follows her gang. They reach the east end of Bengali to a city called New Athens where the Greeks are awaiting for their God Athena. 

Phantom understands that she has deceived the people of new Athens that she was Athena the Goddess of War and Wisdom. Phantom was taken into custody, Athena gives an option to be on her side and rule with her or face death. Phantom opts for the second choice. The next morning Phantom enters the tournament of death.

Did Phantom win the tournament and what happens to Athena Siossi are told in the concluding pages of the comic book.

The cover artwork is by Newton, the illustrations are good. I am little bit disappointed in the story line.

Nov 6, 2017

Review: Doctor Who: Four Doctors Special FCBD 2017 Edition

Doctor Who: Four Doctors Special FCBD 2017 Edition Doctor Who: Four Doctors Special FCBD 2017 Edition by Alex Paknadel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A free comic book I downloaded through Google Play Books. I am a fan of time travel stories and Doctor Who is about time travel. I was little bit disappointed when story ended in 20 pages with a cliffhanger. The writer is Alex Paknadel and superb artwork by illustrators Mariano Laclaustra, Pier Brito & Nico Selma.

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Nov 4, 2017

The Ghost Who Died Twice

A different story from the Phantom, every time a new Phantom takes up his position either the old Phantom is in death bed or mortally wounded. But this story starts when Guran asks the Ghost who walks why that 11th phantom took over in 1757 when 10th Phantom was still alive and the death of the 10th Phantom was in 1758. 

The Ghost who walks enters the chronicle room to know about the story. The year was 1757 when Marianne and her son Chris (11th Phantom) were returning from France to Denkali on board Ile De France. But the Singh brotherhood headed by Ashar and his pirates surrounds the Ile De France and tries to kill Chris, the Phantom intervenes and both Phantom and Ashar take up their sword to settle. The cunning Ashar fires two shots on Phantom subsequently the Bandars and Muri tribe enters the ship and the pirates are overwhelmed. They escape, the tribes people takes the wounded Phantom and his son to the skull cave. 

The Phantom's right hand and his face are badly wounded. The medicine man treats and Phantom loses his right arm and his face becomes disfigured. The 10th Phantom hands over the good sign ring to the 11th Phantom and his son takes the oath. As the 10th Phantom regains his health after some months he vows to kill Ashar. Then the 10th Phantom leaves the skull cave and practices with his left arm for combat. 

Did the 10th Phantom took revenge over Ashar? and how did the Phantom died are all revealed in the remaining pages on the comic book.

Phantom uses a different mask after he recuperates and Phantom undergoing vigorous training to get his health back made me thought of Rocky movie.

The artwork is excellent with a good story line and enjoyable read for Phans (short for Phantom fans).

Review: James Bond #4

James Bond #4 James Bond #4 by Warren Ellis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent art work, superb panels of Bond hand to hand combat. The story ends in cliffhanger as James Bond stuck inside the lab.

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Review: The Bible Secret

The Bible Secret The Bible Secret by Will Edwards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book is around 50 pages and the author has made into two parts. The first part deals with Apologetic's with articles about the message of Jesus, the alternative, the religion, God's creative process and The Plain Truth.

Part 2 The White Stone, the articles include The Secret, My own story, Are you ready?, Activating the promise.

The author Will Edwards have written so beautifully and elaborately about the secret in understanding the bible. Such as what really is Kingdom of God, the White stone. He had pointed out what the bible really says and what we really should understand. Another instance is the difference between religious and spirituality.

A good book. The note from this book I like to share:

Jesus was, most notably, misunderstood by the religious people of his day: the very people who, if their hearts had been pure and their minds had been open, should have understood him.

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